Welcome to β.EngageMedia.org!
We are kick-starting this space to better highlight our Digital Rights and Video for Change work.
In particular, we’ll be launching a new series of impact experiments using non-corporate social media.
Major geopolitical shifts in Southeast Asia are rolling back hard-fought democratic progress, as shown by harassment and violence against journalists and bloggers, the rise of populist political leaders, military rule and militarization, and increasing religious fundamentalism.
“Changemakers and filmmakers are harnessing the moving image, emerging technologies, and online networks to create new forms of storytelling, activism, and social change.”
The March 2018 Cambridge Analytica scandal finally captured the popular imagination regarding the dangers of social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. While awareness is now high, change has still been hard to come by.
Most civil society organisations still do the majority of their communication and engagement through these platforms. Though many alternatives exist, their use is very limited, and few are willing to make the jump to more ethical options.
We’ve been greatly concerned about the business model of what was previously known as ‘Web 2.0’ since our inception.
That’s one of the reasons we developed EngageMedia.org, a free and open source YouTube alternative. Way back in 2007, we wrote about the perils of choosing convenience and zero cost over ethics.
The good news is that there is an increasing number of alternatives available – FOSS, decentralized, federated social media (known as the Fediverse) include tools like Mastodon (Twitter alternative), PixelFed (Instagram alternative), and Diaspora or Friendica (Facebook alternatives). Their key limitations include their smaller user base, a lack of awareness of their existence, and little evidence that these can do at least as well as their corporate counterparts.
Over the coming months, we will be launching impact campaigns on Mastadon, PixelFed, and other such platforms, and we’ll be documenting, for better or worse, what we find here on this blog.
We’ll be awarding five filmmakers the opportunity to work with EngageMedia on these campaigns.
Each campaign will be co-created with a filmmaker and advocacy partner, and we’ll collaborate to ensure the documentaries reach wider audiences and are put into action as tools for change. (Interested? Contact us! We’d love to hear from you.)
We’re keeping Facebook and Twitter for now, but we won’t increase publishing on these ‘outposts. Instead, we’ll rely more on old-school tools like blogs and newsletters.
Later in the year, this blog will transform into a full-blown site that better represents all of EngageMedia’s Digital Rights and Video for Change work. We’ll simplify and move our video sharing platform, currently at engagemedia.org, to video.engagemedia.org.
“We’ll use compelling storytelling, conversations, and engagement to interact and connect with our community.”
We look forward to having you on this journey with us, asking and answering some critical questions: Is using non-corporate social media a viable way to attract audiences and create impact? Can changemakers succeed without relying on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram? Let’s find out together.
We invite you to join us in this experiment. Get weekly updates by subscribing to our mailing list using the form below or via this link.